Device: Jardin 2 Qt Crock-Pot Classic with removable stoneware liner. If you say you haven’t had a Crock-Pot ever, I’d say you are not from America or you are well under 25 years old. I’ve probably owned a half dozen in my life, and I don’t think more than one of them “gave up the ghost”. They are simple and work well for what they were designed for, and they last forever.
This Crock-Pot cost $9.99 cents. I find that amazing. I mean, it’s a simple device, but $10 including materials, shipping of materials, manufacturer, boxes, shipping of the finished product and a bit of profit for the manufacturer and the end-point seller? Crazy. Yes, it is made in China. But still…
The Crock-Pot is ubiquitous, but what is its history? Wikipedia says: The Naxon Utilities Corporation of Chicago, under the leadership of Irving Naxon, developed the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker. Naxon was inspired by a story his Jewish grandmother told about how back in her native Lithuanian town, her mother made a stew called cholent, which took several hours to cook in an oven. A 1950 advertisement shows a slow cooker called the “Simmer Crock” made by the Industrial Radiant Heat Corp. of Gladstone, NJ. The Rival Company bought Naxon in 1970 and reintroduced it under the name “Crock-Pot” in 1971. Slow cookers achieved popularity in the US during the 1970s, when many women began to work outside the home. They could start dinner cooking in the morning before going to work and finish preparing the meal in the evening when they came home. In 1974, Rival introduced removable stoneware inserts, making the appliance easier to clean. The brand now belongs to Sunbeam Products, a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation.
The Dream: I, too, can be a kitchen goddess with absolutely no more than 20 minutes spent in the kitchen. I mean, it worked for Mom, right? I think it did.
The Hype: The manufacturer says… “This Crock-Pot 2-Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker provides you with the flexibility to prepare a meal early and then have it slow-cook all day, so you can come home to a nutritious, home-cooked meal in the evening. It’s a healthier, more cost-efficient and convenient way to cook.”
Soup, Stew, ribs, pulled pork, lasagna, cake, bread, pudding, as well asdulce de lesche and pumpin pie. In a $10 machine?
- “2-QT Round Manual Slow Cooker serves 3+ people
- High/Low cook settings, and convenient Warm setting
- Crock-Pot features removable, dishwasher-safe stoneware insert, and dishwasher-safe glass lid
- Compact slow cooker with purple polka-dot design.Recipes included
- Dimension(inch):9 H x 8.9 W x 7.4 D“
The Basic Recipe:
- 3/4 pound beef stew meat cut into stew-sized bits.
- 1/2 tsp each of Petter and Salt
- 1/2 a small onion, diced.
- 1 celery rib, first cut in half down its length, then cut into thin slices.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
- 1/2 a small can of tomato paste
- 12oz broth, your choice of flavor.
- 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1 cup diced potatoes, not russet style
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/3 cups frozen peas
- 1/3 cup sliced okra
- 1/3 cup frozen corn
- 4 tbs flour
- ¼ cup water
Combine all ingredients except the frozen veggies and the flour and water.
Cook on LOW for 11 hours or on HIGH for 5 or 6 hours.
40 minutes before serving, add that flour and water, blending it into the stew as a thickener.
30 minutes before serving, add the frozen veggies.
Continue cooking until ready to serve.
More recipes below.
The upside is this crock-pot is just the right size for two or three servings. The cost is low, but it is fully capable, at least in the manner of the old style crock pot. Load it up in the morning, and when you come back from work or school… dinner is just about done.
The downside is this IS an old style crock-pot, so no browning of onions before adding other ingredients. This is old school, as in 6 to 10 hours for many recipes.
Be aware that appliances do sometimes catch fire. It’s unlikely, but I’d always place it in a place where it will do the least damage. Perhaps a stove top?
Bottom line: I like it. I use it. I’ll use it a lot. Reasonably priced, reasonably practical and useful.
Time saved: Oh, you DO spend hours cooking, but without any of your intervention. You can be away.
Cleanup: It’s really pretty simple. The stoneware liner just needs a good soak followed by a kitchen scrubber.
Grade: A. It makes Mr. GizmoCuisine.com happy. I mean, it’s “just” a Crock-Pot, but it’s a pretty good one.
There is plenty of it!
Online Recipes and Hacks:
This gizmo can make:
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